Former Doncaster prop Stefanos Bastas revealed how the COVID-19 virus has had a huge impact on his career, as he was forced to leave France and join the Greek army.
The 26-year-old was forced to return home to Greece, after a spell with Villeghailhenc-Aragon XIII in France was cut short.
Following his release by Doncaster at the end of 2019 he joined the French club, who are coached by former Warrington and Salford hooker Vinnie Anderson with Louis Anderson on the books and formerly Patrick Ah Van.
He featured twice for the club, before helping Greece to the 2021 World Cup with a victory over Norway last year, and was hoping to remain with the club moving forward.
All that changed when France was hit by COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown measures, as Bastas swiftly returned to his hometown of Karystos to complete his mandatory service in the Greek military.
“I was lucky because I made it back to Greece just one day before all the flight were shut down,” revealed Bastas, who became the first Greek-born player in the UK with Hemel Stags in 2018. “It was a narrow escape.
“I had to self-isolate for two weeks as soon as I got back. Despite all this, I am focusing on the positives and I am with my family now.
“I will be using this break as a chance to go and complete my stint in the army, think things over and then decide what my next move is going to be. My plans have changed, just like everyone else’s, I imagine.”